So says an ancient letter writer. Flying in the face of natural selection, survival of the fittest, and Social Darwinism. It begs the question, what is the fittest? Who is the strongest?
What is actually best for society in terms of natural selection? Can people control their own evolution?
Could it be that the altruistic and non-violent approaches to life might offer better long-term prospects for human survival, and therefore human development?
Might it actually require greater strength of character not to exercise crude dominance, in the interests of helping others to develop pro-social skills by pushing power away from the centre?
Do we need to develop a new kind of master-race, a new kind of superman that flies in the face of people’s reflexes to prioritise themselves?
Might it not therefore be true that the ”least shall be the greatest”, as an admired teacher from the past has said?
What then is the society of the future? What are its enemies? How can such enemies be defeated, except by the use of power? What do we mean by “power”?
We live in a world and society that generally glorifies militarism. Ceremonies commemorating the ”glorious” dead are made much of. What is never seen, or is sanitised, are the terrible effects of war on people.
People with most of their faces blown away, and yet, who, against all odds, have survived. Deep inside a modern operating theatre, or in the archives needed to train new doctors and surgeons, these awful images are kept out of the public view. Perhaps seeing them would create a nation of pacifists, and that would never do.
Or, conversely, a race of people inured against images of grotesque violence and mutilation? Both options invite civil unrest, and social policy rarely values this. What is needed is truth about what war does to people, not the glorification of it.
This must necessitate a new kind of people, if there there is ever to be a world in which there are “no more tears and no more pain, no more suffering”, as it has been written.
A Utopian vision? Or necessity? It may well be necessity, if the end of the human race is not to be nigh, as the sandwich boards proverbially state.
So, far from fulfilling a weakening of the species, will the vulnerable represent a new kind of strength? ”Power” will always be needed, but should it be based in authority or authoritarianism? Will their ever be a time when people hear with one voice, respond with one aim, and that being the healing of all? Is this a dreamer’s folly? Authoritarianism is easily adopted, authority is hardly acquired.
Could it be that a kind of predestination called “compatibilism” is at work after all? Wherein people are forced by the pressures of reality, to become more altruistic (compatible), paradoxical as this might seem?
Will Anthony Storr’s comment that “man is the most violent species that has ever walked the earth” be denied? There is no room for complacency.